May 18, 2023

Viral NBC Story Misrepresents 'This Book Is Gay' Controversy

Legacy media refuse to cover book-banning controversies fairly or informatively.
Viral NBC Story Misrepresents 'This Book Is Gay' Controversy
Photo by Annie Spratt / Unsplash

Get smarter about politics.

Our daily brief brings you need-to-know news and insights you won’t find in the mainstream media. 100% free.

By Hudson Crozier

What happened: A teacher in Illinois encouraged middle school students to read This Book Is Gay, an illustrated book that graphically describes “the ins and outs of gay sex” and promotes risky hookup apps. Parents filed a police report against her for alleged child endangerment.

Legacy media’s version of the story: NBC-affiliated outlet TODAY wrote a sympathetic feature story about the teacher, portraying the allegations as simply an attack on an “LGBTQ-themed book” without any description of its sexual content that has outraged parents across the country.

Warning: The following paragraph contains graphic content.

What’s really in the book: This Book Is Gay contains explicit passages on oral sex, anal sex, and masturbation, encourages seeking out orgies with strangers, and explains fetishes such as giving a “golden shower.” It also promotes adult dating apps such as Grindr, which has a weak age-verification system that has allowed adult predators to solicit and traffic children on several occasions. One paragraph in the book acknowledges that child users will encounter “grown-up adult types” through these apps, saying that it’s “fine as long as you’re honest and always use a condom.”


Why it matters: Other NBC outlets have republished TODAY’s disingenuous coverage of the story all over the internet, leading some online to condemn the parents involved as “book-burners” who have no valid reason to want the book restricted from their children. This follows a trend of legacy media refusing to cover book-banning controversies fairly or informatively, often describing challenged materials with vague phrasing like “books containing LGBTQ+ topics.”

Great! You’ve successfully signed up.
Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.
You've successfully subscribed to Upward News.
Your link has expired.
Success! Check your email for magic link to sign-in.
Success! Your billing info has been updated.
Your billing was not updated.